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BJP is the true benefactor of Muslims - The Times of India

Gurmukh Singh ()
June 2, 1998

Title: BJP is the true benefactor of Muslims
Author: Gurmukh Singh
Publication: The Times of India
Date: June 2, 1998

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is the BJP's only Muslim MP in the Lok Sabha.
Elected from the Muslim-majority constituency of Rampur in Uttar
Pradesh, Naqvi is also one ofthe two Muslim ministers - the other
being Sikandar Bakht - in the Vajpayee government Being a staunch
Muslim, isn't he an odd man in the party which is branded anti-
Muslim by its detractors? Retorts the young Minister of State for
Information and Broadcasting "Only a true Rama bhakta can
understand a true Muslim. I am a true Muslim, so they understand
me. Frankly, the BJP is the only secular party in the country and
the true benefactor of Muslim Others only pay lip service to
secularism for the sake of Muslim votes."

These so-called secular parties, he says, have brought the Muslim
community to its present pathetic state by pitting them against
the majority community. The creation of 'dependency syndrome' in
Muslims was part of a calculated move on the part of these pseudo-
secular parties to keep them as their vote bank, he says.

Naqvi, who has been an active member of the party since 1984,
says the BJP will usher in secularism in the true sense ofthe
word. Listing his agenda for the Muslims; he says the minorities
are responding very well to the BJP as the party is committed to
providing an equal treatment to all.

Excerpts from an interview with Gurmukh Singh:

Q: What is it that attracted you to the BJP?

A: I entered politics during the JP movement. Later, I found that
the BJP was the only party which didn't talk with a forked
tongue. Unlike other parties which exploited the Muslims in the
name of religion, I found the BJP was committed to genuine
secularism. That's why I joined it.

What do you mean by genuine secularism?

Appeasement of none, justice for all. All should be treated
equally, irrespective of one's religion and community. For me,
the BJP symbolised that policy, whereas the so-called secular
parties were treating Muslims as their vote banks, and making
them feel second-class citizens. This has created an inferiority
complex among them.

Further, my study of the historical roots of communalism and
secularism too brought me closer to the BJP.

How?

Look, during the freedom struggle, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and
Christians fought together to throw out the British. When
Independence approached, there ensued a struggle for gaddi
between Jawaharlal Nehru and Jinnah. It was these so-called
secularists who divided the country on communal lines. The RSS
opposed it tooth and nail.

However, what has been propagated for the past 50 years is
subversion of the truth: those who divided the nation were
projected as secular and those, like the RSS, who opposed the
division on communal lines, were branded communal. What a lie! I
don't subscribe to all that the RSS stands for, but it certainly
is not communal and has never been anti-Muslim.

But isn't their Hindutva rabidly communal?

Had the RSS wanted a Hindu Rashtra, they wouldn't have opposed
the Partition. They would have favoured India's division so that
all Muslims left India, turning it automatically into a Hindu
Rashtra. That the RSS is anti-Muslim is a myth.

Does your election from a Muslim majority constituency and your
party's claim that "one out of every six Muslims" voted for it in
the last general election, indicate shift in the Muslim stand
towards the BJP?

When I joined the BJP, there were calls for boycotting me. But I
didn't budge as I had seen the BJP's top leadership at close
quarters. They never made me feel that I was a Muslim. There was
no truth in the vilification campaign against Vajpayee and
Advani. Even Gandhiji was vilified, wasn't he?

But didn't the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 change your
opinion about the BJP?

Listen, no one from the Sangh Parivar has ever condoned the
demolition. On the contrary, all leaders, including Vajpayee and
Advani, have condemned it. It was a conspiracy hatched by the so-
called secular forces to create an atmosphere so that the
majority community could be provoked. Some Muslim fanatics only
helped them in their designs. And what happened on December 6,
1992, is there for all to see. Minority communalism more
dangerous than majority communalism. The minority should not
create a situation where the majority community is provoked. Its
welfare lies in harmonious ties with the majority.

As a Muslim, what is your stand on the Ayodhya issue?

The Muslims are no more bothered about the Babri issue. A handful
of leaders are keeping the issue alive for vested interests. I
daily meet over 600 Muslims from all parts of the country. They
tell me how they suffered physically, socially and economically
by harping on the Babri issue. How they lost their dear ones and
businesses, and how not a single 'secular' leader came to their
help. Today, Muslims want a solution to the real issues facing
them.

Like?

Like education, jobs, and population control. Some clever
leaders, who want to keep their vote bank intact, are telling the
poor, uneducated Muslims to have more children to raise the
percentage of the Muslim population. I know many men who don't
even know the names of their children.

Look, it's quality, not quantity, that matters. Modern education
is possible only for a small family. No community can rule by
increasing its numbers and perpetuating poverty. The Mongols,
Mughals and British were few in numbers, but they ruled us by
sheer clever thinking. Happily, the Muslims are veering around to
the BJP's viewpoint.


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